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  CSPAN    Tonight From Washington    News/Business. News.  

    December 13, 2012
    8:00 - 11:00pm EST  

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revising the shipbuilding industry marinette wisconsin every wisconsinite had an ally and advocate in us. it is in the greatest honor in my life to serve these 24 years in this hallowed institution alongside my fellow senators and my staff and as the voice for wisconsin. all for that, i think you while one last time. and i yield the floor. >> negotiations over the so-called fiscal cliff continued this afternoon when house speaker john boehner met with president obama at the white house for a little less than an hour.
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>> my inspiration was the idea that i wanted to explain how totalitarianism happens. we do know the story of the cold war. we know that the documents we have seen the archives and described relationships between roosevelt, stalin and truman and we know the main events from our point of view. what i wanted to do was show from a different angle, from the
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ground up, what did it feel like to be one of the people who were subjected to this system and how did people make choices in that system and how did they react? it's interesting that one of the things that has happened since 1989 is the regional used to call at eastern europe has become very differentiated. these countries no longer have much in common with one another except the common memory of communist occupation. >> russian president vladimir putin this week gave his first eight of the nation speech since being reelected. his nationwide address is a little less than an hour and a half. >> translator: of the
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federation council just a few months ago and my election articles and in my march represented our plan for short and midterm, covering all the areas of our work, of our life. the economy, social issues, domestic politics, international affairs, security. in those documents, we presented a detailed picture with figures and facts explaining our plans and we have already started to implement some of those plans like decreasing teacher salaries and some other things. all the other issues we have provided necessary laws and regulations. we have started this work and i
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can assure you that we will continue doing that and we will implement everything we have planned. we have set up a special convention to oversee this work. of course today, as i present in my first state of the nation address after the presidential election, i will not go back to those plans and make some adjustment to those plans. today i would like to talk about some fundamental issues related to our move forward. they are fundamental in the long run for russia's development. these are fund the mission of -- fundamental issues that relate to each one of us. over the first 12 years we
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have -- [inaudible] it was a very important speech. now we need to set up a wealthy russia. and i want you all to understand that the next two years will be extremely important, not only to us but actually for the whole world. the world is entering a new stage of cardinal genius perhaps of up evils. global development is uneven around as new conflicts emerge. there is a competition for resources and i can assure you colleagues, it's not only competition for metal and resources but.
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[inaudible] will become outsiders and it depends on the will of every nation. capabilities to move on in developing countries. their populations are accustomed to growing living standards and new opportunities. in order to provide sustainable -- we need to achieve a new technological order. this is where many parts of the world have problems. it will become an outsider as the share of the global pie and its businesses and its people will be much much less than the leading countries.
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if you look at the way that wealth is distributed between those countries who produce intellectual property and other countries, who just produce and manufactures the final product, it's 50 to 85% ratio. in the 21st century, with a new balance of civilizatcivilizat ion of military forces, russia should be an influential country and we should preserve our national identity. we should not lose ourselves as a nation. we should remain russia. [applause] after 70 years of -- rule the russian people have pastorek national stage and restoring their -- and this is perfectly normal but working for yourself has a
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limit. there is a boundary. you cannot achieve wealth with outside of your house you have disorder and insecurity. you cannot live all by yourself without helping those who are weaker and caring for others outside your family or outside of your business. more and more people come to this realization today and become more and more involved in civil activism. they are caring for other people around them, for their nation in general, for the interest of the state. today is december the 12th, constitution day. and i would like to mention some values that we have represented in our constitution. universal responsibility for our model and is the fundamental principle of the russian state.
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responsibility and patriotism, these things are what i think is a strong foundation for our politics per well it does not just mean to respect your history although this is important. primarily it means serving your nation, and patriotism is then natural sentiment if a society has not learned much responsibility and especially a multiethnic country cannot exist if there is no sense of general responsibility for a nation. and what you need is not just -- people need to see that it is transparetranspare nt in the authorities are working hard for the nation, for the town, for the region. the authorities should not be a
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nice elated group of people. society can't have strong development -- we need a nationally oriented mentality. what does it mean for us to be a sovereign country in the 21st century. we often discuss this today. first of all we need sufficient resources for our country not just to manufacture everything within the country. nobody lives this way in the world anymore and i don't think anybody ever will. russia should be geopolitically sustainable and -- by its neighbors and this is important to us. this helps our economy, education, culture and their diplomacy, especially in terms of collective efforts on the international arena and of
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course this also applies to our military strength which guarantees our security and independence. with all all the difficult processes taking place in the world, russia requires we take excessive actions going forward, looking to the future. colleagues, in the 20th century alone russia passed through two world wars and the civil war and took a stereo evolution. twice we went through the crisis of disintegration. our country had several drastic changes of our entire lifestyle. as a result of the beginning of the 21st century we face to demographic and overall catastrophe, serious crisis and if a nation is unable to reproduce itself in preserve itself and if it loses its values and ideals, you don't
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even need an outward enemy because everything will disintegrate by itself. i haven't often referred -- i have many times mention that for russia to be strong we need more people and we need better people in terms of competence, skills, work,. between 21 to 40 years of age we are one of the most populated countries in the world but in 20 years the population may be reduced by 50% and unless we do something this tendency will continue. we need to provide interest in new jobs, opportunities to create business, build families and have many children and be happy in their own country. unless we do that in a few decades russia will become a
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more -- old country and a direct sense of the word, unable to preserve its integrity and even its territory. the demographic problem we have had in the past decade, the population has stabilized and is growing. this era population grew by more than 200,000 people. for the first time in our recent history, we saw a natural increase of the population. [applause] five months, back-to-back. the birthrate is finally over the -- rate. life expectancy has grown by two and a half years and this is very good. it has exceeded 70 years. but, the mortality rate is still quite high, especially among middle-aged men.
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we need to overcome this irresponsible attitude that our society has towards a healthy lifestyle. we need to pay more attention to preserving health. of course this doesn't mean that we will pay less attention now to medical care. no, but medicine alone is not enough. the government should introduce food programs for -- dangerous jobs and take measures to improve traffic safety. smoking alone, alcoholism, drug addiction claim hundreds of thousands of lives annually. it is important to. [inaudible] for people to engage in sports, make it something prestigious. this is why we organize major sports events in our country.
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but, this work of making sports popular, this cannot be achieved by international sports events elan and even by increasing the number of pe classes in school. we need comprehensive -- and all kinds of things especially for children of a young age, early age, because this is the age where you develop your habits for the rest of your life. i also think it is important to create collegiate sports associations. this will be a social elevator for talented and gifted young people. [applause] at the same time, i believe it is important that such organizations should be outside
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of politics whatsoever. it should unite young people of various political affiliations. we have a policy of providing so-called motherhood capital to families that give birth to the second children. it will be in effect until the end of the year 2016, and we will definitely meet all of our commitments in regards to this policy. to its full extent. i would like to emphasize once again that this policy is in effect until 2016, and so all families who deliver a second child will receive a preference and this so-called mother capital. now i want to encourage women on purpose to give earth to children for money but i want them to know that the government
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will be there behind there. starting in 2013 we will start paying additional bonuses to families who deliver a third child in regions where the demographic situation is worse than the average across the country. [applause] there are quite a few significant parts of the federation in russia. over 50, most of them in central russia, and the -- region and in russia's far east. besides i would like to remind all the heads of russia that they need to pursue their own regional demographic development policies and progress in their respective regions. demographic experts note that once one delivers his second child this is -- to their readiness and willingness to deliver a third and i'm
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convinced that the normal in russia should be a family with three children. [applause] but, to that end, we need to do a lot. we need to provide an environment for women in the first place so that they will not worry that delivering a second and more children would bar their way to a good career, to a good job and would confine them to being a housekeeper, to being a homemaker. we need to have education programs for retraining for females and employment support policies. this will definitely affect the family's choice whether to have more children. we will definitely need to work with preschools in kindergarten sand we need to support the establishment of private ones. the government has already done away with many obstacles to that
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and i request you finish that work in the first half of next year. i request regions to use their own opportunities. we need to open a small size kindergartens and extended day groups at schools in every single region and the city of russia. we need to provide families with an opportunity to put their children in kindergartens without wasting -- [inaudible] we need another long-standing problem of russia to resolve and that is the housing issue. this is something that the federal government as well as the regional government should address. thanks to our housing agenda, we have managed to increase the housing credits, which grow at the pace of 20% a year. but we know that housing loans
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are something that many people with medium and high taxes use, not the rest. and we need to make loans available to broader sections of russian society including technical experts, the academics and so on. we need to make economy class housing available as well as renting opportunities for russia's population. several regions of russia which practice support for rental housing markets. i would like to emphasize in 2014 will fully meet our commitments on providing housing to military personnel. we also need to finish our programs in replacing outdated and shabby housing with new ones. we still have a large number of
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russian citizens who are waiting in queues to be relocated to new apartments. we have put ourselves a goal to create 25 million jobs by the year 2020. it is a difficult task that we can accomplish it. we can help people find new and interesting jobs. quality occupations and quality jobs will be a locomotive for better wages and for an increase in the quality of life in russia. we need to restore our engineering vocational schools in preparation of qualified labor force. i request the government to develop a program of restoring vocational training and education in russia. public employees have earned
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themselves quite a dismissive attitude in russia back in the '90s but at the same time these people are the backbone of our economy. they are professionals and they are also heart of the so-called creative class. what was earlier called intelligentsia. medics, teachers, people who work in the area of culture and entertainment. there are people like that in every township and village and city in russia but their wages and salaries do not meet the average in russia. therefore, they are tonight relevance and opportunities to enjoy life as they should. the government used to underpay its employees in the past. in the first place because we had other issues to address. much more more acute ones such as increasing pension payments.
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they were in an even more dire situation in russia, meaning they were living in poverty. but nowadays, we can deliver cardinal changes in russia's social sphere and have laid out my initiatives and my decrees in my treaty election article. we have provided increasing salary wages for every public employee and request those regional and federal employees to mobilize all of the resources to meet these ends not just because these are my election promises, even though it is necessary to deliver on your promises, but it's not just that. we believe that if we meet these commitments, we will resolve a number of key issues. first of all, we will have a crucial increase in the quality of medicine and education because we will have new
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professionals coming into their jobs and the existing professionals will have an opportunity to make full use of their occupations and give up their part-time jobs that they hold to earn more money and to make a living. we will also managed to deal with problems such as low-level corruption and indifference on all of those. we will have a 25% increase in the number of russian citizens who will have the economic opportunities of the middle-class, middle class, especially in russia's regions. [applause] it will soon give a revival to so-called provincial intelligentsia. the people who are professionals and the moral backbone of russia at all times. certainly we will give more incentives to professional associations and medics, educators, cultural workers. such communities must become the
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backbone of an active civil society. it is important that this society must be capable of evaluating the quality of science and education. i request the government to establish a system of public monitoring of education and medicine by next year. we need to attract professionals to this activity and we need to look at international best practices. i would like to stress that it would be a mistake to see the program of job development or professional development as the sheer policy of increasing salaries. we need to look into the professional qualities of each and every worker in every sphere and every industry that needs to have their own policy or program for replenishing their personnel and attracting new professionals.
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we all talk of the need to restructure various industries, but as soon as restructuring starts, the whole of russia starts complaining. don't change this, don't touch that. we need to give up this kind of attitude. we need to do away with it. if we realize something should be done that needs to be done and we need to do it. at the same time we need to be rational and careful in our approach. those who believe that such activities require permanent dialogue with the professional community. we need to explain our policies to them and i request the heads of media up maybe i'll does, the leading journalists to pay special attention to reforms in these areas. a part of national development. i'm convinced that increasing the quality of payment and the quality of life will attract more promising legal
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professionals. we already can see an increase in the number of medical school graduates compared to economist and law schools. we are to have more students enrolling in education departments at universities, choosing a vocation of an educator. dear colleagues, we see the results of what is happening in russia in its government, in its society, in the past 15 years. we are seeing it now in various cities and townships across russia. and it's understandable. back then, 15 years ago, the outdated mindset of the soviet era was discarded but at the same time together with those outdated ideas and ideology we also shown some moral values and today it backfires in our
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readiness to abide with corruption, extremism and offensive behavior. and very often this all becomes ugly and takes aggressive forms and provides a long-standing threat to russia's security and its mere existence. dear colleagues, it's painful to say this -- though it pains me to say this but i have to. today the russian society has a dire lack of spiritual ties and spiritual backbone. mutual help and assistance. there is a lack of something that used to make us stronger and more firm and all the historical periods of russia. we need to support the institutions that carry the traditional values and have
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proved in history their capability to pass on these ideals and values from generation to generation. we must protect these values. we cannot instill them if we can't establish them. trying to impose that with total tape tett totalitarianism, not of prohibition but of strengthening the societies spiritual foundations. and that is why in issues of education, culture and increased significance nowadays and that is important for bringing up and educating a responsible -- [applause] the school's influence over the
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-- -- has been reduced over the years. now with the internet and the electronic media have much more influence and students and their parents have many more many more demands of school has to keep up with the growing tide of information. actually we should be ahead of the curve. we need to improve the quality of education and of the same time we should maintain our traditions such as fundamental mathematical education. we should remember about the quality of teaching the russian language and also the secular ethics and traditional religions. these are basic subjects. if a student encounters a talented teacher, this may have a great effect on his future.
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the education system should be built by strong, talented teachers. we should handpick people for this job and preserve them, keep them. school is not just a place where you pass on knowledge. actually, teaching is impossible without social education so i would ask schools to prepare a program for social education. we need to develop creativity and open special classes for schoolchildren, develop children's chores. this all should be available to all children regardless of their financial situation, their families or where they live. [applause] i have been talking about the government and what the government should do. this is something bad to regents
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should do. this is their responsibility and of course the central government should oversee the general -- now we should rely on the foundation of russian culture. russia is one of those countries that not only form their own cultural achievements but also influence the entire global civilization. our government policies in this area should address important issues and to strengthen the traditions of russian ethnicities and the people who have achieved a lot in business, sports, education and charity should be known and supported. russia has a lot of people who are engaged in charitable activities, who are also restoring this moment of
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construction among college students. we can discuss that in the near future. dear friends, to revive our national identity we need to bring together different historical eras. we should remember that russia did not start in 1917 or 1991. we have a history of thousands of years and based on this history, based on our inner strength and the purpose of national development. [applause] >> as 2012 comes to a conclusion, the year of russian -- is an interest towards russian history should not waive. i hope that the russian historical society and the society of military history will make a contribution here. i would also thank those who
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seek for for the lost bodies of war heroes in world war ii and provide proper burials for them, take care of war memorials. [applause] there are meetings with people and we discussed how important it is to preserve the military history. it is a shame that we don't have that proper war memorial to world war i heroes because this was a big war but it is forgotten now. [applause] for a number of ideological reasons, it was all but forgotten. at the same time, morale in the military is reserved by the
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examples of the past. i think it is important to remember memory will read -- memorable regiments of the past, soviet and other regiments like -- and i think the defense ministry should make proposals to this effect. we need to preserve the unique experience in the imperative from our ancestors. russia has been a multi-ethnic country for centuries. it has been this way from the beginning. the different groups brought together by the russian language, by russian culture. that prevents us from getting lost in this diversity, regardless of our ethnicities to the rest of the globe. we are still one nation. i remember when i had a meeting
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with war veterans, there were people of different ethnic groups there and one person who was not russian, not ethnic russian, said we are russians to the entire globe. that is what other countries call us. we are russians to them. [applause] and it has been this way always. of course, we respect and we will always respect each ethnic group in the russian federation. our diversity has always been our beauty and our strength. [applause] but at the same time, we should always remember that any kind of of -- damages everybody especially the ethnic group that it supposedly cares for.
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that is why any kind of the so-called final solutions are very dangerous for russia. the final solutions offered by nationalists and chauvinists, they always push us towards degradation and disintegration. any attempts to promote ethnic -- should be regarded as a challenge, as a threat to russia's national unity and we will not allow closed ethnic enclaves in the russia living outside russian laws and russian culture. ignoring universal laws and rules, i would talk to heads of republics and major cities in the russian federation. this is your job. you need to work with your
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people daily. unique to work effectively. russia needs new labor force, more people, not people who just come to russia to make some money here and go away. no, people who will treat russia as their motherland. the situation is not prone to this. the procedure for any russian citizenship is difficult and very much bureaucratic and at the same time it's very easy to bring in unskilled labor. i think the government should prepare a new procedure to facilitate the procedure for getting direct descendents of those born in the russian empire or in the soviet union, those who want to move to russia permanently and give up their original citizenship.
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at the same time, i think it is necessary to introduce harsh punishment for illegal migration for migration violations and i have sent my admittance to the state already. i wished deputies to adopt proposals and one more proposal. we still have this practice when citizens come to russia with their domestic passports. i think it is time now for all cis countries to get well-established and this kind of situations when people come to russia with their domestic passports, it is impossible to provide proper migration control so i think by 2015, all people should come to russia only with international passports, not their domestic passports.
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[applause] and i would ask the broadband service to discuss this issue with other cs countries. this is not to create difficulties for them. we need to provide assistance to them, financial and technical assistance to prepare the necessary forms. we should do the same thing that other countries do. we need to provide it to people and sometimes even financial assistance. to introduce this new measure. at the same time in the common economic space, we will have the same regime that we have today ,-com,-com ma it facilitated regime for crossing borders and staying within the customs union and common space. it is very important for social institutions to play a role and i think national economies
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should play a role here and we should provide grants for programs of social adaptation. this has proven very effectively for some countries. also i would ask the government to provide their proposals in learning the russian language. for other countries all over the world it is important to support schools and the cis and other schools that teach russian. supporting teachers and providing them with educational materials. we need to create russian language contest by international contests and their winners should be able to enroll and colleges in russia. [applause] and colleagues, those who work in this area in russian language
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should be global. russia should play a greater role in the international cultural . there can be no other political choice decides democracy for us, and i would like to emphasize once again that we believe in universal democratic values. all over the world, russian democracy is the authority of the russian people. the russian people and their traditions of self-government and implementing standards that some forces from outside wanted clothes. democracies are respecting the existing laws and regulations, governments, residents and parties may change but this should not affect the russian society. there should be continuity,
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sovereignty and human rights should be a priority. people should not only be able to elect their authorities but also to control them. to assess their performance. we should develop direct democracy more. the government of the people, including the right of the legislative initiative. if there is enough support on the internet for certain initiative it should be considered by the government. also the federation councilmembers and state union members should have the right to introduce new legislative initiatives in their local legislative assemblies. in this way we can bring legislative -- closer to regions. political competition is definitely good for the country.
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at the same time we should have a code of rules for fair competition in politics. first of all, the unity of russia should need an absolute value and separatism should be ruled out. of russian politics. [applause] second, direct or indirect foreign intervention in our domestic politics is unacceptable. [applause] he serves the national interest can now be a russian politician. third, criminals cannot be
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allowed to participate in politics. i would like to mention one thing. of course, some people will say, this is what it is now, yes officially criminals cannot participate in politics but quite often they do. forth, we can only have a civilized dialogue with people who provide their demands in a civilized manner and offer them, put them forward in a civilized in legal manner. we cannot destroy our country for the sake of change. the entire russian history tells us that this is unacceptable. [applause] the state must as well provide equal access to the media for all political parties, not only
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during electoral meetings but in everyday life as well. but of course we should realize that this is not easy to do. we had seven parties at the beginning of the year and now we have 48 parties and more than 200 organized committees preparing to register their own parties. but at the same time, the government authority should do their best to provide equal conditions for everybody. we should have a mixed intellectual system by single constituencies. and i agree that we should discuss that. [applause] some say that we need to provide an opportunity to put dissipate in elections to election blocks, two political coalitions but i think this requires some to liberation and discussion. i'm convinced that this would
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make our political system even more open and competitive. it would be a response to an inflow of new bright politicians in russia, recruited from the society. [applause] dear colleagues, for russia, a tradition of a strong state is genuine in characteristic and that is why most requests from society are directed at the government, to deal with criminality, to install order in housing and utility industries. there are also complaints about the government being ineffective and corrupt. without good quality management and government management, without personal responsibility of those who do it, we will not accomplish the tasks that we
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have in front of us. we need to have certain principles. first of all, we need to have some coherent criteria and benchmarks that a society would be able to evaluate as far as government is concerned. secondly the most important criteria of the government is certain institutions must be public opinion. the opinion of our citizens. thirdly, public officials must be motivated. their salaries must be adequate. they must be career stimulus is and adequate compensation packages for public officials. at the same time, responsibility must also be strengthened. ineffective officials must not only be dismissed from their
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offices, but also banned from taking management occupations for sometime in the future. number four, i would like to note that an absolute majority of russia's public officials that are responsible and logged in people even though there has been a lot of critique and criticism directed at officials. those are people who assume responsibility in their activities. once you choose public service, you must be ready for self-restraint. you must be ready for public and social scrutiny. what trust and confidence can we have been an official or politician who talks of russia's greatness but at the same time they try to place their own money at offshore accounts abroad? i would like to ask you to support my initiative to
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prohibit floor officials to have properties and accounts abroad. [applause] don't applause, you might not enjoy it. this requirement must affect any public official making key decisions, including the most senior officials of the government and their relatives, including the members of the russian parliament and of both chambers, the council federation and the state duma. as far as real estate abroad is concerned, it must be declared according to the law and an official must be ready to explain the origins of his or her earnings and the specifics of the deal that sealed that property for them. number five, we need special
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scrutiny by controlled institutions. we should employ some million people in russia and that is almost as much -- as many of them as we have -- we have almost as many of them as we have teachers and medics. we have a lot of officials worked in control authorities but what they need from them is not just a result on paper, but we need quality results which could be possible to evaluate. we need to have a system of reporting from them on their efficiency as compared to the amount of money spent on supporting these institutions and paying their salaries. we will keep fighting corruption
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and i would like to emphasize that no business in diddy, no legal entity should benefit from its special relations with the russian government. therefore, number one, we will have control not only of incomes but also of spending so public officials and top corporate officials. the prosecutor's office now has the right to demand in court a confiscation of properties of convicts which have been purchased through corrupt money. number two, the unemployment and the salary of ahead of a public, a state-owned company, must have a bond efficiency of the company.
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we have had a lot of disputes about the methods and the structuring for state-owned systems. but what where were the results? and certain state-owned companies the head of the company earned several times more than low-level employees. number three, state purchasing end state for german system is something that we have debated a long time and i would like you to finish this process of rate collating this area within this year as well as the system of reporting on the procurement contracts from these companies and entities. number four, we need greater efficiency and greater activity from this institution and russia's parliament must have an opportunity to propose candidates for the head of this
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body and the tenure must be limited to two terms in a row. number five, we need to attract civil society to our struggle against corruption. many citizens even today try to establish a system of public control at the level of municipality's and especially as far as public utilities are concerned. we need to support that initiative. just yesterday, we discussed this issue with my confidant person. we also need to attract media to these activities into this task. we realize that the media must not treat their objectivity and balance on a free market. they need to direct themselves with the guidelines of transparency, honesty and
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balance quality reporting. [applause] the moral authority of the government is a basic prerequisite for its development and this is why ratification of the government and public officials will be consistent and relentless. we cannot contend with the present situation when russia's budget is hostage to financial and commodity markets of other countries. a commodity economy is not only vulnerable to external shocks but it cannot meet the requirements of developing human potential, human capital and russia. it gives many russians an opportunity to realize their capacities and their gifts to the full extent. and of course, the reserves of the commodity of raw material, but he are already running low.
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i realized my colleagues that we are living in a material world. i know the forecast of the economic history. nonetheless, it is important to give ourselves a task of restructuring our economy. gradually transferring from a commodity economy to an intellect-based economy, to an innovations-based economy. private property, innovations must be the guidelines for russia's economy development, not state capitalism. russia's business community is often criticized for a lack of hatred to some. their offshore accounts give roots to experts to claim there is not just a flight of capital but a flight of jurisdiction from russia.
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a whole number, a whole share of capital stocks in russia are outside the jurisdiction of the russian law. [applause] we need to gradually deal with this issue. i have requested the necessity of regulating offshore accounts and making them more transparent negotiation with offshore areas inciting relative agreement. this all can be done and it must be done but preference is given to the legislation of a different country, we need to realize that we need to improve quite a bit in our own regulation and legislative system. with our judiciary, we need to give away the presumption of --
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of these communities. we need to give up this inclination of our law enforcement and judiciary to see the business community as guilty by definition. [applause] members of the russian state, duma for their work on a legislative package that should regulate this area. initiating criminal investigation unless they have a complaint from a plaintiff as it regards a number of economic offenses. in the near future we need to establish legislation forward ministry to prosecution for administrative education we have discussed that with the chairman of the arbitration love -- the arbitration law of russia. there's important task that's still has not been addressed in
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russia and that is additional protection for the rights of citizens in russia. as far as class suits are concerned. .. to establish, to regulate the area at the branch of our
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judiciary. we need to make russia's jurisdiction of track to. [applause] the state itself should set an example of choosing russian jurisdiction by using russian platforms for privatization yields to privatization should have not aimed with the part is of the 19th so-called shares for non-deal and property should be sold at a fair price. it is a matter of whether society tries the government, whether we have legitimate owners. i would ask everybody in the government responsible for privatization to remember about that.
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businesses should work for their own wealth and four the benefit of the country, should produce teachers and charity founders. only then can people respect businesses and business community and general. [applause] i would like to remind you that together with businessman, we started working on the national business initiative to bring russia into the top 20 countries in terms of the business climate. this would further our gdp growth and the sufficient growth would come primarily not in the commodity sector, the small and medium enterprises. we have certain regions that are
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able to sustain 10% gdp growth in their regions without oil or gas. and this is actually a good response if we cannot receive 4% gdp growth. here you have additional 2.5%. right away you can have 6% gdp growth. we need to reduce the inflation rate. i would ask the finance manager and banks to consider proper mechanisms for doing that. i know that some experts will come it at the central bank should not work on providing long-term loans. total savings should be used for that. yes, we know that, but the federal reserve and the u.s. and
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federal banks in some countries have it written black and white in their chargers that they need to consider jobs and economic growth. i am not saying we need to teach our legislation immediately. what i am saying is that we should all think about russia's economic development. our savings should work for the benefit of our country. but the national welfare fund is not investing in the economy at the moment. we have agreed that after the reserve fund exceeds 7% of gdp, we can send how of what is above the level into the russian economy, especially infrastructure projects. [applause] and now, i'd like to say a few words about the necessary adjustments to her earlier agreements. at the end of this year, the reserve fund and national welfare fund together will reach
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9% of gdp. this means starting with 2013, after we create the necessary management structure, i suggest that some of the funds and the national welfare fund would start with 100 billion. some say should be even more, should be invested in russian security. in 20 team to finance infrastructure projects and government experts agree with that. so i ask the finance minister to work on that. it is important for these projects to be profitable. this is a necessary condition megasized weight is important for these projects to be profitable and to provide sustainable growth. they should not require constant
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subsidizing from the national welfare fund. also come a tax system should serve the same purpose to stimulate development and we should shift the tax burden nonconsumption, including realistic in many countries all over the world, we always talk about income taxpayer and you know what my position is at this point we cannot abandon the so-called flat rate. the progressive rate may look socially just, that doesn't actually provide for social justice. quite the contrary it will be a burden on the middle-class, middle middle income people. if you look at the actual calculations, you will see the sister who people will start
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evading taxes and eventually the budget will receive less revenue and will not have enough money to finance the army and social programs. so we need to be very careful when we deal with this issue. but one thing we can do and should do come we must do is introduce the so-called conspicuous consumption. there should be tax i'm not. in the first six months or 2013, we should implement our decision on the so-called luxury tax, including upscale real estate and luxury cars, even if there are no. [applause] to renew our economy, we need competition. i would ask the government to adopt the road for improving
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competition in russia and implementing this program next year. what i think this is necessary to do that? because i know very well what kind of discussions we usually have. it is very sporadic. we talk about some important things. we have the meetings. but as soon as people leave the room, they forget about it and we never get anywhere. we need a clear document, a clear roadmap that we can monitor and we should definitely do that with about one of her economic policy with all sectors in russia, stimulating loans in the proper administrative procedures, controlling inflation. we should get away from dependencies and commodities because we have thousands of new
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projects and services, small and medium businesses in the agriculture. demand for food has grown, especially developing countries. as you know, russia accounts for half of the earth's cultivated land in the next four to five years, we should become -- we should provide all the food that our country needs and then russia should become the world's biggest food exporter. this is a tremendous opportunity for us. we should pay close attention to the environment, improving the environmental situation. where are you working in some areas in the arctic we set a very high standard for our technology. we will yield to the president
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for the sensitive procurement program acts of geneva funds will be available to all the industry and the russian economy. we need to strengthen our positions in the nuclear energy industry, revise our aero craft, manufacturing and shipbuilding industries. we are restoring our electronics, including participation with the developing new industries, just like we have roadmaps for improving the investment climate, including rare metals, biotechnology, i.t. building technologies and so on. we are about to conclude a report on russia's scientific development, which identify
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certain great your areas and high technology. also we will set up a special fund for research. technology driven economy results in different breaches. today, you can always find a good, well paid job in the capital or in some bitter perversities. in the bigger cities for proper education and health care. this is why people flock to such major cities boost people who can work in the regions. we need decent realization our development. we can create new centers, new
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environment, different russian cities, towns, including access to disabilities. you know that in 10 russian regions we have more than half of all the revenues generated in russia. we should do the best to make all russian regions economically sustainable. this is why we need to change our relationship between budgets of different levels. we need to strengthen the economic foundation of different territories and support those territories that were well. to start with, we will ship the revenues generated by taxes on small businesses to the local
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level. also, we will leave many tax breaks at the federal level and this money will also go to local budgets. at the same time, mostly government members. you know what i'm talking about. some of our infrastructure monopolies will lose their tax benefits. they will pay more, but not all of them are ready to be more because this way we can base data capabilities. we talk about a transition period for these companies and we definitely need consider that were such decisions cannot be made abruptly. but of course we will move in this direction. also, to strengthen such revenues in the regions, we should give them the right to
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real estate based on their estimates. but it's up to the regions to decide you want to do that. at the same time, we need to conclude our work on assessing the value of different real estate facilities. including education it would be right for us to support colleges and universities that work in different regions and cooperate with large companies in their regions and are engaged in scientific research in their graduates work in their region. [applause] these kind of rules should be provided with government funds, should receive scholarship.
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he should support such schools. is this it should also participate in finance team such universities. this will put an end to the practice where we spend a lot of funds to prepare to educate a lot of college students in moscow and st. petersburg and then they never work in the field that they majored in. we need to consider where we should set up certain businesses and expect government support. we should use our competitive advantage to stimulate migration of businesses from other countries like we do in the industry. just yesterday i had working knowledge training the wto, we can attract businesses that not
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only produce goods for market, but for export as well. fresh is developed in the 21st century will be eased. disagree potential for russia and we should occupy prominent place in the asia-pacific. this is the most dynamically developed region and the world. recently in the state council we discussed ways to stimulate economic growth. and in the far east, we decided that we need to create attractive environment there. the government should prepare a detailed program to implement those tax breaks for startups for new companies developing energy, infrastructure. we should definitely do that. and i would ask you to pay very
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close attention. also notice that government should repair their proposals on developing the land grant, especially the law of the special economics will expire in 2016. we need a breakthrough. in the next decade we need to double the amount of her construction was experts differ in their opinions. i think we should double the amount of growth. another important priority is aviation, seaports in the north sea ray or browser. all these things require our work. we need to make russia a well united country with well-established transport
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infrastructure. in the new era, nobody can address global problems of politics and economics all by himself. it has been this way all the time, even in the 90s. just 10 years ago come to some people may affect the world is unipolar. so my former colleagues told the bat, but nobody thinks this way anymore. they've convinced everybody the world is increased and this creates both risks and opportunities to prevail. all countries play their own game if they don't give up their concept. in other cities. of gas management. russia opposed the principles of
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collective effort and interesting challenges. we suggest projects that should bring countries and regions together. our experience in the past 20 years clearly shows this. in this unnatural the receipt tendencies towards further integration increasing all over the road in america, north america, asia and we should not only stay way from that. on the contrary, we should see all the advantages we have and our commonwealth and actually our neighbors are becoming increasingly interested in integration and so. we have a very pragmatic attitude to the free trade zone project, cas and actually i would like to thank parliament
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for ratifying this document first. they made positive examples. the common economic space. all these things are already working affect the really. colleagues, citizens of russia, we aimed at doubling russia's gdp. by the end of 2008, we came very close to that inch mark. the global financial crisis -- by the time for the crisis we've managed to increase russia's gdp by 85% but still, we have demonstrated the capability of the russian economy to develop and to grow at a rapid pace. we've managed to preserve our potential for growth in
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outlining the prospects for itself, starting from 1999, russia's gdp per capita has doubled. the spending for the federal consolidated budget has increased 2.65 times. the deficit of the budget went down almost 100 times and russia's sovereign debt is only 2.5%. russia's inflation rate has gone down six times. it used to be 36.5% back in 1999. last year to 6.1% in this year it'll probably be 6.5. by the end of the year 2000, russia's population was shrinking at a rate of almost
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1 million people and it seems that this democratic catastrophe was impossible to stop and reverse. it sounded almost as a death sentence, but we've managed to reverse that trend after the launch of the government's demographic programs and russia's population stabilized in the last couple of years has been increasing. i believe this is our key accomplishments and i would like to emphasize that. i'm not saying this to say we are good. i am saying this to people would have coincidences. we have broadened so people would you vote to broadened their horizons for planning their future, so they would see stability is a prerequisite for the future.
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[applause] all the indicators of growth, which had enumerated are testament to great reforms and changes in russia's economic and social development. the most important thing is lisa country in the society know how to overcome and resolve a task. we need to remember we have come this way and dignity, step-by-step, initiating our object is. we need an ambitious goal to move on to any of the contribution from each and every one. the reason i gave you of these economic stats is that in russia we have a tradition of seeing life as something for the future. we are used to living for children, not for ourselves. this is a very decent and dignified attitude.
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but affect the, the job of living day by day is always postponed until we sacrificed for the sake of this tomorrow. it is time we change the situation for the best today. we are capable of doing that. if only we continue on the task of national development. if only we'll get engaged in our common constructor that duties. if only we contribute all of our forces in all of our efforts to destroy tanks, we'll be able to meet all of our goals and accomplish all of our tasks. thank you for your attention and your patience. [applause] me
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>> me >> me >> me >> and a few moments, i would just know i've made this her farewell address on the senate floor
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>> or white house is very controversial is the most things were. designed washington said he was competition and he submitted a design for a palace. americans aren't having a palace. it was not particularly awe-inspiring. in fact, in 1821, a diplomat told the congress is neither large nor awe-inspiring, but the answer the congressman gave said that building that its purpose if it were larger or more elegant, perhaps some president would be declined to become a permanent resident.
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>> olympia snowe retiring after serving three terms in the senate. she spoke on the senate floor today for about 40 minutes. >> i rise today with an infinite appreciation for the institution of the united states senate as well is the profound sense of gratitude as i prepare to conclude my 18 years in the senate and may nearly 40 years in elective office on behalf of the people of name. madam president, it's been difficult to envision the day when i would be saying farewell to the senate. just as it was impossible to imagine i would one day become the united states senate rss is growing at a name.
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but such is the miracle of america that a young girl of a greek immigrant in first-generation american could in time be elected to serve in the greatest delivered his body the world has ever known and become the third longest-serving woman in the history of the united states congress. and so, in contemplating how to begin my remarks today, first minute of the words of the renowned poet, ralph waldo alarcon, who said cultivated the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you and to give thanks continuously. and because all things have contributed to your advantage, you should include all things in your gratitude. that perfectly encapsulates how i am feeling on this day, madam president, thankful and blessed. and in that light, i first and foremost want to thank the people of maine for allowing me
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to be her voice, their vote and their champion for 16 years in the u.s. house of representatives and 43 terms in the united states senate. one of the definitions is a charger duty post in the face of confidence and to set the trust of mean people who place their faith and confidence in me, is in honor of indescribable magnitude. indeed, my magnificent state over the past 34 years in the halls of congress has been the greatest privilege of my life. i also want to thank my amazing husband, josh mckern and who's up there in the gallery, who as you know was a former congressman and former governor of maine. in fact, while others serving in the house of representatives, we used to joke that our idea of quality time together was listening to each other's speeches. we shared a passion for public
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service in quite a unique journey together with 56 years between us and office and we've never regretted a single moment. i'm pleased to say he's been joined by a wonderful longtime friend of janet sharon miller from maine. on this occasion i also think of my family what out whom none of this would have been possible. i've often joked secrets for electoral success is coming from such a large extended family, some of whom we started on campaigns at birth, but they've been a sort of boundless love and support over the years who struggles as well as celebration and i thank them from the bottom of my heart. it's also possible to search for this long and at this level without dedicated an exceptional staff in during my tenure in the house and senate, i paid nearly
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400 people on my staff who have helped make all the difference for me, from maine and for washington. here we have had tremendous support with the invaluable guidance and effort on the part of my staff in the extract. then the more than three decades. they have represented the very best and brightest the nation has to offer and they're here today in back of the chamber and in the gallery and i applaud them time and time again. in fact, we had a wonderful reunion and i realize that just simply would not have been possible to have been on this legislative journey without them. the same is true of my staff in maine who have not only been my eyes and ears, but also by stolberg staircase and assisting with problems in navigating the federal bureaucracy. like me, they've never been inclined to take no for an
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answer and in so doing literally thousands of lives helping to soften the hard estates and brightening the packets. i commend the staff of the united states senate from all of those ensuring the operation of the senate here in the floor to the cloakrooms have come into the legislative council, to other pages here from all across america to all of those who keep facilities running and certainly to the emphasis on the front line of capital security protect in all of us. you have my deepest admiration for your immeasurable contribution to our country. i want to express my gratitude to the minority leader for his gracious remarks about the service. senator mcconnell has worked tirelessly in aiding us through challenging moments in for the country. his longevity of legislative experience made him a trick to this republican caucus and at the most heartfelt respect and
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appreciation for his contribution to his home state of kentucky and to this country. to my friend and colleague, susan collins. i want to thank her for her very kind and extremely generous words on the floor last week. public service from her earliest days in caribou, maine, are incredibly parents john and pat were former mayor said the city and i have to discover their father, don when he was also in the state for the past 16 years, senator collins has provided representation not only for me, but america with her voice of reason, pragmatism and thoughtfulness in maine will truly be an outstanding hands with susan collins as their senator. i am also indebted to my great friend, senator mikulski and the senate and for all women. for a long and wonderful comment she made yesterday on the floor.
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i've known barbara for more than 30 years beginning at the mutual service in the house of representatives. truly a dynamo always brought to bear its tenacity that's consistently been requested in her vigorous at kc she represents. as i said in 27, when when she became the longest serving woman in the senate, there's no one i would rather have surpassing the length of service in these legendary and senator barbara mikulski and what a reflection on her legislative stature that he she is now assumed the mantle of one deserving women in the history of the united states congress. the president and the chair, i've enjoyed serving with you as well in this chamber and getting to know you and i know you will do well into the future. i have enjoyed working with you over the years.
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my colleague, senator isakson who is a gentleman in every way has been that dissent to work with as well. and of course my colleague, senator mikulski from alaska who has made some great contributions to the senate with her consensusbuilding, dedication and exceptional ability. i want to thank them because i certainly enjoyed working with them and getting to know them. and to all of my senate colleagues past and present, this chamber would simply be another room seems laws inconstant service and dedication to bring to the substitution of our nation. we all have stories about where we came from, but shaped our values and aspirations and why we care so much about public service as a vehicle to securing for others the american dream, for all who seemed to embrace
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it. in my instance, when my own legislative journey commenced to fill my late husband's seat in the house of representatives, i felt then as i have throughout my career that are both public service above all else is to solve problems. i've also reflected in the 60s in the statehouse in augustine made because that is where i found politics and public life to be positive in concert with endeavors. once the elections were over, my colleagues and i would put the campaigns and party cables behind us to enact laws that genuinely improve the lives of mainers. i inherited a legacy of bipartisanship and independent who's best remembered for remarks during her only air in her first term in the united states senate.
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with truly uncommon courage and principles and dependence she telegraphed the truth about mccarthyism in the 1950s with her renowned decoration of constant speech on the senate floor. in 15 minutes, she had done with 94 of her male colleagues have not dared to do and in so doing a giant demagoguery. so people ask me why he may be challenging a particular party petitioner why don't simply go with the flow. i told them please don't take it personally. that's what made people truly expect from their elected officials. they expect you to do what you believe is right, for the right reasons on the right way. we've seen that reflected time and again. not only that and the distinguished service who have preceded me from maine at nasty
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to go colin the former majority leader of the senate, george mitchell. throughout my tenure i was born witness to governance as an instrument for the common good. i've also experienced its capacity for sterile dysfunction indeed as i stated in announcing it would not seek a fourth term in the united states senate. it is regrettable that excessive polarization today is presenting preventing us in this monumental consequences for a nation. as i prepared to conclude my service, that may be abundantly clear. i am not leaving the senate because of believing in its potential for a no that the institution, but precisely because they do. i'm simply taking my commitment to the senate in a different
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direction. i intend to work on the outside to help build support to those in this institution were working to reestablish as a place of refuge from the passion of politics, as a foreign. as our founding fathers truly intended. because the senate in particular is our essential legislative mechanism for distilling the vast diversity of ideologies and opinions in america so we might arrive at solutions to the challenges we face. the fact is we are a can-do country with an error pass up it is in our blood and in the fiber of we are. this and the hard-working family and the limitless entrepreneurship and innovation of our people and it is profoundly reflect good and i
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are heroic men women in uniform is unflagging bravery and professionalism i've been privileged to witness firsthand throughout my tenure events are the cause in places like iraq and afghanistan with many have been the ultimate sacrifice so we may live in freedom may always ring. here in this chamber, i've spoken to many of you who came here to get things done. to achieve things for a nation. i've lament to accomplish more in today's polarized atmosphere and as i've traveled throughout maine and america, even overseas, people would stop and ask me, what is happening? as it always been this way? i tell them i am so passionate about changing the tenor in
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congress because they see it can be different. and it actually does not have to be that way. i've been in congress long enough to experience first-hand what can be accomplished with individuals through various political backgrounds are determined to solve the problem. for instance i first came to the house of representatives in 1979 he joined a bipartisan congressional caucus on women's issue, which it ultimately cochaired with congresswoman pat schroeder. research we didn't agree on everything, but with only women but could not draw lines in the sand when it came to importance to women. so when we spoke on these issues, we spoke as women from anonymous republicans republicans or democrats.
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together we made a real difference for women. you have to understand there was a time in america are received is strictly strictly a women's problem, a time when tensions were canceled without approval, a time when the family medical leave that doesn't allow the land of women were systematically excluded from clinical institutes of health. trial set for the difference. as senator mikulski eloquently describe yesterday and this chamber, the women's health research and the senate will congresswoman schroeder and i were sitting in the house. a pivotal juncture, senator mikulski and she was telling yesterday to explore the shocking discriminatory treatment, which further galvanize national attention and in the end produced the largest
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clinical study trial when it came to women's health is producing results even today as well as watershed policy changes resulting in life-saving medical discovery for america's women. in the house, we also work across party lines to practice budget in sharp contrast to today's broken promise, where we can pass a budget in three years, even with unprecedented debt and deficits. when president reagan to select it in 1880, he knew he had to build coalitions to pass the budget that would interest the tumultuous economy and the result was a moderate northeast republican group, which i was a part of called the gypsy mosque in the conservative to moderate democratic groups negotiated
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budgets together to help rick dial our political and regional different is. and the model for bipartisan chip, all of the spent days and weeks fashioning budgets, literally going through the budget function by function. somatic president, a rising at a compromise was an easy by any means. and never is. the point is they can undertake the difficult work if we choose to do so. i was able to make a difference because i was a member of the minority throughout my entire 16 years in the house of representatives by reaching across the political aisle. in 1995 the voters of maine and trusted me to be their voice and vote in the senate and i was finally serving in the majority. i believe this disposition would remain an investment book commodity in meeting the challenges of our time.
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that's when i joined the centrist coalition shortly after arriving in the senate, which is informed by then senator john casey. during the 1990s for health reform debate to grace the political divide. after senator chafee passed away in 1989, we thought it was imperative that we revived the coalition to help cross bipartisanship following the divisiveness of the senate impeachment trial. following the landmark supreme court ruling in bush v. gore but adjudicated the presidential election at an even nice plate with 50 republicans and 50 democrats, senate leaders joined with nearly one third of the senate at a meeting of the centrist coalition to explore how to move forward in a bipartisan fashion.
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it is precisely this kind of approach that is crucial, madam president because it is only when we minimize the political variant that we can maximize the senate, allowing it to become a result to truly matter. it is across iowa last to produce a so-called e.u. rate program in 1996 with a rewrite of the telecommunications act for the first time. this is a landmark law, ensuring every library in america would be wired to the revolutionary resources of the internet, which one publication as a ranked as for the list of innovations and initiatives to shape education, technology over the past generation. my good friend and colleague, senator rockefeller privilege to work with on so many issues was determined to enact this
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benchmark initiative. in typical fashion, jay wasn't going to take no for an answer, which made us perfect partners and co-authors says i was equally determined. by working with members of both parties who are willing to hear the facts and judge on the merrier, we overcame hurdles in the uh program was born. are they to does one tax debate, senator blanche lincoln and i of members of the finance committee joined together to increase the amount of the child tax credit to make a refundable so families are earning enough to pay federal taxes could benefit from the credit. ultimately a measure was enacted, becoming the second refundable tax credit under and ensuring the child tax credit that additional 10 million more children and 500,000 children out of poverty. madam president, i think about
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my friend, senator landrieu sitting in the chamber as well. the common brown coalition again in 2006 to rekindle cross party relations. not only have mary and i made history as the first woman to serve simultaneously as chair and making them were in the standing committee for the entire congress ever, but we worked together in numerous measures assisting america's greatest job generated, our small businesses. what is possible with stability and bipartisan teamwork. senator ted kennedy and i co-authored the genetic nondiscrimination act to stop insurance companies and employees from talking coverage raised so individuals wouldn't forgo this potentially life-saving mats.
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traditionally they share the committee takes the lead name on legislation. ted approached me and said because of my work on the legislation has made it possible, it should be snow kennedy and not kennedy snow. from the legislative line of the united states senate. i'm proud to say that this genetic nondiscrimination act passed in 2008 and has been referred to as the first major civil rights act of the 21st century. some modern president, working together effectively in the united states senate on behalf of the american people. but on occasion is the very institution of the senate itself is preserved when we state our common ground. even in the highly charged atmosphere, the presidential impeachment trial make the process work. during a gathering of the
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republican caucus, advocated reality bipartisan meeting in the old senate chamber for the entire senate to generate agreement between the parties on the conduct of the trial. as someone who'd been about to describe the guidance of the trial in a purely positive basis, but by competing both parties, we were able to chart a logical, reasonable and judicious course. in 2005 i joined the so-called gang of 14, comprised of seven republicans and seven democrats spearheaded largely by senator john warner, john mccain. the group was formed to an institutional crisis as a result of repeated systematic filibusters of president bush's judicial nominees been a corrosive vote on the senate.
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in response, the republican majority seeking to break the logjam by exercising the so-called nuclear option and the wood has long-standing rules requiring 60 votes to end a filibuster. that threshold has always been protecting the rights of the minority. but when they become just a simple majority vote and had that happened, i would've had enormous implications for the future of the senate. just as we were about to cross the political rubicon, became forged a pact based on mutual part is that we were to only support judicial nominees under what we label it as extraordinary circumstances and we would oppose the nuclear option in agreement that embodies the manifestation of the power of consensus building.
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throughout this body contemplates changes in the next congress. i would urge all of my colleagues to return next year to follow the game for 14 exercise a level of caution and balance because what makes the senate unique, what situates this institution better than any other to secure the continued greatness of our nation is that balance between the accommodation of the minority and privacy of majority rules. regardless of who's in the minority, any suppression of the ability to shape legislation is tantamount to silencing millions of voices and ideas, which are critical to developing the best possible dilution. madam president, i mentioned all of these examples as illustrations of the boundless
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potential of the senate. their problems are not insurmountable if we refuse to be intractable. it is not about what is in the best interest of a single political party, but what is in the best interest of the united states of america. as the fledgling days of our nation, our founding fathers warned of dangers of undue allegiance to political parties, a potential that alexander hamilton and james madison specifically cited in the federalist papers. now, one study by three political scientists pigs congress at its highest level of polarization since the end of reconstruction and in 1877. it is true that in the intervening years we've had no tools to settle disagreements on the semaphores occurred in the early years of the senate.
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although there was a physical brawl on the floor in 1802. the fact that we are still more polarized now in 140 years speaks volumes. instead of focusing on issues as senate was uniquely established to do, we have become more like a parliamentary system, where we simply vote and political bloc and we've departed and diverged from the senate's traditional rules and norms in the manner that is entirely contradict greek to the historical purposes of the senate and the role of the founding fathers intended for the senate to play. the very name of our institution to the senate derived from latin roots or council of elders with that concept representing
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experience and wisdom, not just some experience and family send in a deliberative body, but more experience and more wisdom in the highest delivered his body. but that assumes of years and for greeks and framers alike has stood as an assembly with the lessons of individual experiences are translated and measured the same in to use feeble judgment. therefore, understanding and appreciation of tolerance and consensus or moderation are all required to reach such judgment and do the work of the people. indeed, i would argue it is only by recognizing and striving to meet the institutional ideas that the senate that we can
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aspire to the seller obligations to those we represent. we all taken out to support and defend the constitution of the united states into bair true faith and allegiance to do the same. i've always believed this oath necessarily includes the duty to support and defend the senate estimates or to shed and integrity of its deliberative process. that requires the ability to listen before judging, to judge before advocating and to advocate without polarizing. it also includes a capacity to differ with one's own party and even to reach agreement and compromise with another party unable to prevail. since it occurs all members to recognize the individual duty to
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serve the people best by serving our chamber with the highest standards of consideration, deliberation and explanation. former supreme court justice souter once said and i'm paraphrasing, that all of the chorus part cases are divisive because one set of values is truly at odds with another and the constitution is the simple rules of decision. for in truth they valued liberty bacillus order. we buy you freedom to sell a security company value fairness assaults of quality. so when the test cases, judges at the heart job of choosing, not between those things are good and those that are evil, between the many and often competing things the constitution allows. justice souter could have been talking about the work of the senate and the often difficult
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choices we too are required to make. this observation except the intrinsic that defines these choices that resolve to rely on meaning, unreason and the reputational integrity of the process to make it to explain the ultimate decision. indeed, justice concluded his remarks by saying he knew of no other way to make good on the aspirations that tells us who we are and who we need to be as people of the united states. we've written when it adheres to this resets. think about how we came together in the catastrophic events of september 11th to secure our country and help heal our nation. think about the major debates of the 20th century on such
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issues as the establishment of social security and medicare and the civil rights act. none of these profound advancements that have established our society today if they had been passed simply on partyline votes rather than the solidly bipartisan basis on which each of them was enacted. madam president, i am not claiming there is some kind of golden age of bipartisanship, where everyone's all saying from the same legislative handbook. i'm not advocating bipartisanship is some kind of an end unto itself if that's not the point. what i'm saying is we've seen how how cooperation in the past has resulted in great achievement, which likely would've never occurred if bipartisanship hadn't intervened as a means to obtaining those most worthy ends. our grandest accomplishments in
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the congress were also a reflection of the particular compromise is an urgency required by the times in which they were forced. recently, "the new york times" columnist david work summarize this concept well when he wrote that there are policies that are not permanently raised in situations matter most. tax cuts might be right in one decade, but rock and the next. ..
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we are surrounded by history per pettily here in the senate as well as throughout the capitol. how can we not be inspired by it to rise to this occasion? indeed if you know history, you understand the very story of america's most formative days, was defined by an understanding that effective governance requires the building of consensus, and that such consensus is achievability even was a h after the exercise of passionate advocate sei which brings us back to the creation of a document we cherish and revere. that is the united states constitution. 225 years ago, 55 leaders from
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divergent geographic concerted on the city of philadelphia and justice for all. they were strong willed and unabashedly opinionated. they disagreed and argued about great many matters both petty and consequential. thomas jefferson considered virginia not the united states as his country. and yes, and yet by september that year, 39 of the original delegates signed the most enduring and inagain use governing document the world has ever known. the constitution of the united states. it didn't happen because 55 people who shared identical
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viewpoints gathered in a room and rubber stamped their anonymous thinking, it happened because these visionaries determined that the gravity and the enormousty of their common goals necessitated the courage to advanced decision making through consensus. maim president, i worry, we're louings the art of legislating. when the history of this chapter in the senate is written, we don't want it to common collude it with here that it became an ain't kuwaited practice. so as i depart the senate that i love, all of my colleagues to follow the founding fathers blueprint in order to return the constitution through the highest calling of governor through con sen consensus.
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the promise of the nation and the rightful expectations of the american people. thank you, ma'am president, may god bless you, and may god bless united states of america. i yield the floor. ♪ if we turn away from the needs of others, we align ourselves with those forces which are bringing about this suffering. >> what happens -- you out to take advantage of it. >> obesity in this country is nothing short of a public health crisis. >> little an antennas that went up. >> how much influence in the office. just a shame to waste it.
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>> i think they serve as a window on the past to what is going on with american women. >> she becomes the chief confident she's the only one he can trust. >> many of the women who were first ladies were writers. journalists with, they wrote books. >> they are, in many cases, quite frankly, more interesting as human human beings than their husbands. if only because they are not first and foremost limited by political admission. >> dolly was a socially adept an politically savvy. >> dolly madison loved every minute of it. monroe hated it. >> he warned her husband you can't rule without women want. >> during this little breatheless and too much looking down and i think there was a
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little too fast, the change of pace. >> yes? probably the most tragic of our all of our first first ladies. they never should have married. >> she later wrote in the memoir that she said, i myself never made any decision. i only decided what was important and when to present it to my husband. now you stop and think about how much power that is. it's a lot of power. >> part of the battles against cancer is to fight the fear that accompanies the disease. >> she transformed the way we look at these brotherhoods and made it possible for countless people to survive and to frowr flourish. as a result i don't know how many presidents have that kind of impact on the way we live our
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lives. >> walking around the white house grounds, i'm constantly reminded by about all of the people who have lived there before and particularly all of the women . >> first ladies influence and image. a new series on c-span produced in cooperation with the white house historical association. starting president's day february 18th. friday morning on washington journal national taxpayer advocate will be here to discuss what the impending fiscal cliff
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means. and they explain the doctor tax. later a look how the u.s. population is expected to change over the next fifty years. our guests jennifer, a demographer for the u.s. census bureau, and william, a demographer for the institution washington journal is live starting at 7:00 a.m. eastern on c span. [inaudible] [inaudible conversations] >> he's not safe on the bus. >> i've been on that bus. >> they are as good as gold. >> all of us, i think, in the country were starting to see people coming out and talking about their experiences of the phenomena that so many of us have experienced in one way or another and had no words for other than adolescence or growing up. we have finally -- people are starting to stand back and say, hold on, this suspect a normal
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part of growing up. it's not a normal rite of passage. i think there was a moment where there was a possibility for change, and directer lee hirsch and i decided to start the film out of that feeling that voices were kind of bubbling up. come up to the surface to stay this isn't something we can accept. >> cynthia followed up the award winning film by gathering essays and personal stories together in ""bully"." hear more on saturday night at 10:00. member of the senate small business community heard from leaders from new jersey and new york. as well as officials from the fba. it's a little less than two hours.
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>> good morning, thank you all for joining us today to discuss the small business administration's response to hurricane sandy. the president's recent supplement tal request in this space and state local and small business recovery effortings in the impact, i would like to thank our witnesses that will be testifying in a moment. i'll introduce them in just a moment. but let me make a couple of brief openings statements. we are here today to evaluate the response and recovery effort in the aftermath of hurricane sandy, which struck the northeastern united states on october 29th, is the largest size storm system in u.s. history. hurricane sandy claimed the lives of 1323 americans, damaging and destroying more than 651,000 homes, and 459,000 businesses. leaving more than 8.5 million
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families without power, heat, or running water. most of the water and electricity and power grid has been turned on. yet i understand there are communities that are challenged. the scale of the disaster has created significant housing and transportation challenges and successful recovery will require a sustained effort on the part of the federal, state, and local officials. private businesses, voluntary organizations, neighbors, and survivors, of course, themselves. earlier this week, i had the chance to tour some part of the tristate area that were hardest hit. i was lead on that day trip by senator ma then does, senator lautenberg staff in attendance, they took the opportunity, senates from montana and michigan to come and tour the area because we are very concerned about senator -- scheduled 0 come and plan to but
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weather delayed to him. we have republicans and democrats with the eyes on the disasters. one of the reasons we are here today, however, to make sure that the federal government through the small business administration is doing everything in the power to assist the thousands of small businesses that have been hurt in this national disaster. by and large, the federal response has been robust to hurricane sandy. more than 500,000 people have registered for temporary houses and individual assistance, fema, there on the ground right away as provided over 15 million meals, 20 million leaders of water, -- liters of water, 1.7 million blankets and 135,000 tarps. dodd has delivered 9.3 million gasoline and 270 million gallons of salt water have been pumped
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out of transit tunnels. there have been over 17,000 personnel and 15,000 national gassermen. i want to thank the first responders from every level from fire houses to police stations to volunteers in the neighborhood as well as the national guard from so many states that came to the aid of the northeast. the president innumerous administration officials have been on the ground surveying damage and meeting with state and local leaders. in fact governor cuomo and kristy have been here to the capitol to express their desperate need for help and support. i want to start with some positive statistics, and then go to a few areas that i'm concerned about. one of the areas that i'm concerned about is the fact that the fba has only approved $20 5 million in disaster loans to
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approximately 32,000 homeowners, renters, and businesses. however the disbursement, the numbers sound great, the disbursement is only 6 million. we want to get to the bottom of that today. i understand the number is set to grow. since this has been put together the statistics have changed. i think it's important to keep our eyes on the results what is happening on the ground for businesses and homeowners making decisions about whether to rebuild, how to rebuild, and where to rebuild. and if they're going to rebuild, it's a big decision. as chair of the committee and senator from one of the hardest hit states in recent years, i believe one of the most important responsibilities of our committee is to ensure that the fba if b fully staffed, better prepared and quickly assist bisdzs. in the aftermath of hurricane katrina and rita. i took the opportunity to tune
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up this response. and i'm very proud to see it in operation today. in the past, planning was insufficient, staff and funding came up short, there were just immeasurable delays, red tape, and paper work. following the 2005 storm that took over 74 days to process the home loans, and 66 days to process a business loan. even longer for disbursement of disaster funding. fba pushed disaster victims for mountains of tax records that have been lost in the flooding. i hope the days are behind us. hypo we will hear testimony that the red tape has been eliminated, we're not requiring survivors to produce multiple copies of tax records that in many cases, were lost in the storm itself. sew for this reason, i'm pleased to see that we have had a great deal of improvement with the fba and the response to the disaster today. i want to note that these
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reforms included dassing loan limit increase from businesses to $1.5 million to $1.12 million. new tools were authorized such as bridge loans following catastrophic disaster. improved coordination between the fba, irs, and fema. and very importantly allowing non-profits for the first time, to be eligible for economic injury disaster loans. in a storm like this, the first group that are going turned to are your faith-based organizations, your volunteers, your chamber of commerce, your local organizations that were themselves devastated. losing headquarter, losing membership, losing staff members, sometimes geographically if not in loss of life. people have moved away, or not living in the community where they lived, it's very important to get these non-profit organizations back up. they will become the leaders of
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of course, in the recovery. building on these reforms the 2010 small business jobs act include prod vision allowing aqua culture businesses to receive economic injury loans. it's very important business to the state that senator visitor and i represent, and to many coastal communities. i hope they will come in handy this time around. so i'm pleased to report that the time frame for home loans has been reduced from nine days to 84 days after katrina and rita. business loans for hurricane sandy are averaging ten days compare to the 66 days in 2005. however, i do think that we need to do more in terms of getting money on the ground and we'll share with you some of what you have shared with us in terms of actual disbursement. we also, i believe, need to modify fba require requirements that borrows must use their personal home as collateral when
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there is other included. i saw for myself thousands literally thownsdz in just a few hours that i was on the ground senator we didn't make it to your state, we were in new jersey in long view beach, a small community, i think mayor has been the mayor there his father was the mayor before. he of course, said to us they have never seen anything like this in fifty years. and block after block after block restaurant, gas station, barbershop, toy store, hairdresser within on and on and on just completely gutted with a debris out front. we have seen these visuals before at home. and it's heart breaking, and right now at the very sensitive time in the calendar, holiday season and christmas coming up,
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these families and businesses that have been in large measure, invested their entire lives building a business that is successful and what seasonal because you're on a coastal area have to make a decision if they're going reopen or it not for memorial day. getting the loans out and getting them with the reduced paperwork a cure for the taxpayer is what our goal is. i'm going not go in to the examples that i have about some of the businesses, because i want to hear from the leaders of the small business administration. but i will say that the president sent up just yesterday, the day before, a $6.4 billion supplement request and the chairman issued his, mark last night and the document is now public. i believe that the sooner we pass the $6 minute 4 billion supplement tal which provides absolutely essential mitigation,
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help for small businesses, homeowners and most importantly flexible community development disaster plans is absolutely essential for the recovery of this region. because, as we knew, as going after ike and katrina and rita. if people continue have the confident that the at least the local leaders have been given access to serious money in $60 billion is a serious amount of money, they will lose hope because a disaster is overwhelming. and that is the last thing you want people do is lose hope. you need to really harness that resill -- resiliency in the human spirit to believe they can rebuild the communities in the face of overwhelming odds and build them stronger and more resimilar yent. we're going get to the testimony in a minute. let me call on senator vitter. i thank you for sitting in for
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senator snowe. he brings a tremendous amount of experience to the issue and recognize him for a short opening statement. and we're joining -- joined by senator blooming that and senator men den knees. i'm looking forward to the comments and personal experience with the constituents in the situation. senator vitter. >> thank you to all of our witnesses. i want to make three points briefly. first of all, i want to, again, express my sympathy for and support of all the victims of hurricane sandy. this was a horrible, devastating disaster wiping out homes and businesses and livelihoods. and it has a very tragic human face, and we always need to keep that in mind. so i'm certainly supportive of acting quickly in terms of help and aid that is gone directly, e
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immediately, help thoughts victims. we also need do that in a thoughtful and responsive and responsible way with the american taxpayer in mind. we can do both of those things. i certainly support that. secondly, on the sba side, i think there is good news and there is room for continuing improvement. the good news is i do think we've come a long way positively since katrina and rita. and sba disaster response has been significantly improved. the initial response in 2005 was slow and inadequate before steve preston took over and really turned the disaster program around, and it's improved since then. we were able to work on this committee in a very bipartisan way to write and enact further
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improvement and reforms that senator lane drew mentioned. i was proud to work with senators on the intriew.s including the disaster e reforms in the 2008 farm bill. but we can continue to learn and continue to improve and enact reforms and we need do that including in this context. and third, and finally, i want to touch on an area that outside this committee's jurisdiction, but nevertheless, very important, which is the core of engineers and corp. of reform. the corps is obviously another federal agency that is important with regard to any disaster like this. and we have to improve the corp. process and address real reforms so that we can work qukly and
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adequately address needs like this. we have been working on that including in a bipartisan way, and i hope to include many furthered significant corp. reforms in the next word bill which senator and i are actively working on now. so again, thank you to all of you. and i'm certainly all ears. >> thank you, i would like, if i could senator senator you've been a champion for the people of new jersey and the entire region. thank you for joining us this morning. and happy to hear your opening remarks. >> ma'am chair, thank you very much for the opportunity, and thank you for coming to new jersey with several of our colleagues and touring the devastation along the jersey shore. i want to thank senator vitter on the way to join us. i appreciate really,
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unfortunately weather deviated his flight. >> i got a tour of the pittsburgh airport. [laughter] >> it looked better than what you would have seen in new jersey. i'll tell you that. thank you for your earth and to my colleagues for their courtesy. you know, ma'am chair, you and senator vitter no strangers to natural disasters. so you have been an important friend and ally in helps understand katrina. this is the worst disaster my state has faced. the surge came quickly and destroyed whole communities and took houses from the foundations and changed the topping gi and -- topography it took lives, and property. more than two-thirds of the residences and businesses lost power, 40% of the nation's transset riders had the commutes disrupted. many today have their not only
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their rides disrupted but costing them a lot more to make their transient commute to work. so much more is bitten out of the money they make. 43,000 applications for disaster loans -- don't have the resources or capital that larger companies do to rebuild. it can often takes weeks and months getting up running. valuable time and revenue lost at the worse moment. and as you saw, on monday in long beach island power still not restored and power and small businesses are still closed as a result. and while sba loans can be helpful. many small businesses simply don't have the capacity to add more debt to their books. small business owners around the state have told me that they are
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ready took out significant debt to start up the business, survive the recession, or repairs after hurricane irene struck in the summer of 2011. the small businesses like shopkeepers i'm going to tell you some of the experiences, i see the mayor is here. they owned a store there, they have four part-time employees. they lost power for a week. they lost one of the most critical times for sales. they couldn't even make the rent. and despite the struggles when the shelter didn't have any electricity they gave up their stock so they could light up a place with candles. that's the type of response we have seen. there is so much more. madam chair, what you are doing is important. final comment is i appreciate
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that the supplement l appropriation has cdbg noun give us the wherewithal and flexibility to be able when it is appropriate to give them a grant which may make a difference between staying open and close or getting open or closing or getting their business back or not. and so doing also hiring so many people that in fact are hired by the small businesses which the engine of our entire economic background. and i'd ask consent to have any entire statement put to the record. >> thank you. without objection. senator bloomen that. >> thank you. i want to thank you for giving me the opportunity to participate and second, for your personal involvement and outreach to these communities not only in new york, and new
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jersey but also connecticut and not just in this disaster, but also going back to 2011 and the catastrophe the connecticut suffered, three of them in that period of time when you personally contacted me and offered assistance. so i want the people of connecticut to know they have real friend in the senator from louisiana and your leadership has been really tremendous in this area. thank you to senator vitter as well. i want to just briefly say thank you to the president for providing the strong leadership he has in the -- wake of disasterrer in the connecticut. he promptly declared connecticut an emergency area and that permitted the sba to come forward along with fema and i want to thank the folks who came from sba, the people on the ground who have been there for
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quite some time now. .. >> i think you need to know that the connecticut office has already approved about 7 million in disaster assistance for struggling businesses in connecticut, as well as residents.
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that figure is significant. there are a large number of requests for funding that are still being processed. therefore, a large number of home owners and those requesting assistance, they are still in the pipeline, and we would appreciate even prompter attention of them. nearly a month and a half after hurricane sandy, many connecticut residents are still waiting to hear they are a able to repair their storm damaged homes. they are still waiting to figure it will have enough capital letter women to be disaster conditions. these struggling victims have waited long enough. they have put their lives and their livelihoods back on track. they deserve to have that opportunity. i hope that the supplemental will be approved complete with the additional $250 million that
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will enable it to service these loans as quickly as possible. i appreciate your assistance and i hope we can reach out to you and work with you in accomplishing these goals. >> senator, i want to join in and thank you for your leadership. we have had many conversations in the legislation i hope you will consider today. the emergency is critically important as we move forward. i thank you. support not only for the small business programs, but also for fema and the department of housing and all the funds, those are going to be critically important for the recovery. the recovery of those communities that have been so devastated by hurricane sandy. the state of maryland was hit
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hard. our prayers go to those communities that are much more broader. much of the population lives below the poverty level. homes have been destroyed. looking to the government to help you during the time this time all on me need a federal partnership. if you have any other and of our state, in appalachia, where just about every home lost power, 3000 trees came down. this is a county that has big populations. 30 inches of snow fell in a very short period of time. both states were hit very hard. i very much appreciate the fact that this committee is holding this hearing to see how the small business programs can be effectively brought into play during this disaster, to help
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small companies and small businesses. oakland, maryland, they have something in common. they may be separated by the shores in the mountains, but their economies are dependent upon all businesses. that is where the people were. we do need to focus on how we can help small businesses get back on their feet so they can have the type of economic progress in both of these communities that have been so disrupted because of hurricane sandy. let me also thank you for your help. an issue that originated in this committee, which during the recovery act we increase it from $2 million to $5 million, they work very successfully. they helped create jobs and help deal with a problem of preterm and it was difficult for small businesses because of the security on the net. i appreciate the fact you are addressing that with the supplemental, and thank you for your help. i think i will also provide an
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additional amount of relief, not just to the communities affected by hurricane sandy, but our country and helping small businesses deal with the current economic pressures. thank you for the hearing and thank you for your leadership. >> thank you, senator. michael chodos is here with us. he is responsible at the sba for overseeing counseling and mentoring and training program with current and future entrepreneurs. i'm going to ask him to speak second and have james rivera, who is the associate for the disaster assistance program. we asked mr. chodos to come here today because he is responsible for the training, which means he will have to step up his game to help people with the technical assistance and training they will need to get back on their feet.
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to help people stay in business. sir, please keep your minutes to five minutes. we will call on mr. chodos coming up. we will start with the second panel and probably about 20 minutes. >> good morning, thank you for inviting me to discuss the efforts in response to superstorm sandy. sba's appreciates your support and continued leadership in making our country better equipped to deal with large national disasters. administrator mills has seen the damage. this is one of the largest disasters our country has confronted since hurricane katrina ravaged the gulf coast from seven years ago. i can assure you that the federal government is leveraging our resources to provide timely assistance to all of the
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affected areas. sba is working at fema and hide to coordinate with local agencies to ensure that we are doing everything possible to assist the maximum number of businesses and homeowners in the affected community. in terms of our efforts, we are providing approach to the response. directors are leveraging private and public sector resources throughout the affected areas. we have deployed over 300 disaster customer service representatives to the region. as you know, sba is it possible for providing affordable and timely and accessible financial assistance in the form of low-interest loans for businesses of all sizes, homeowners, renters, and other organizations. sba has many number improvements to allow us to better respond to these things.
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we have reduced disaster processing times, streamline application forms, and implemented a loan application, which have led to transparent and efficient application process. we continue to meet our goal of processing all applications within 14 to 18 days. we have been designated to assign a case manager so borrowers and other principal point of contact when they have a question or need help. last year we signed a memorandum of understanding with todd. improving coordination on benefits to ensure that those with unmet needs are still eligible for hud and community development grants. sba and hud are sharing data regarding loan borrowers and grant recipients. they can apply for home or disaster loans online or across the area, including the female
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-- fema led program. today, sba has approved over 3600 applications for 230 million people. survivors do not have ready access to television or internet radio to address these situations. we have a customer service center that is handling the call seven days per week. we also provide language translation services. as this week, we have met more than 50,000 people on the ground. we have responded to over 80,000 phone calls in our disaster customer service center and away time of less than 60 seconds. between on the ground staff in call centers, we have over
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203,000 employees helping. this is in addition to all of our resource partners. sba is keenly focused on one primary goal. meeting the needs of the families and businesses who have been affected by this tragic event in helping to rebuild following this devastating storm. we know that this is a long-term process and we are committed to doing the hard work necessary to ensure that the small business owners and their communities are able to emerge stronger for the disaster. i appreciate the opportunity to address the committee on recovery efforts with superstorm sandy. we believe that the reforms instituted are helping us efficiently and effectively respond to the needs of our nation's disaster survivors. i look forward to answering any questions, and thank you. >> thank you, mr. chodos.
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>> [inaudible] >> since hurricane sandy struck, sba has been on the ground across the affected region, providing individuals and businesses with information and support and access to disaster recovery loans. at the communities rebuild, sba is there from day one, and we will stay deeply involved over the long-term. that is why, in addition to our disaster response team, the office of entrepreneurial development in the vast network of economic development partners play a key role in immediate disaster response and also in helping the region's small businesses restart and rebuild and tried again. there are hundreds of thousands of small businesses in the affected areas across the mid-atlantic and eastern seaboard. with 44 small business development centers, 14 women's business centers and hundreds of square volunteers in the affected area, our partners work
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collaboratively with sba's office of disaster assistance to help staff disaster recovery centers. they also provide intake space for business recovery centers in their own service center locations and set up informational events in communities across the area. in the early period, our resource partners help business owners map of the out the recovery process, collect information, and apply for disaster loans. they also connect business owners with local and state and federal resources, ranging from help accessing local governmental and utility programs to connections with the irs to contain critical tax documents. they help small businesses take the first steps to get the capital and resources and mentoring that they need to get back up and running. for example, our new york office created an excellent one-stop recovery website to provide information on important resources with faqs for small businesses. it is now a critical tool for individuals and businesses
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across the state. in addition to access to resources, thousands of affected businesses will need individual help one business at a time. in just one recent example, the women's business center in the bronx was contacted by a low local manufacture and distributor which experienced needing help accessing capital. we help them apply for a business loan and help them to rebuild. this process is being repeated by the sba, sbdc, and score volunteers throughout the country. those who received counseling and training are more likely to start their businesses and have them survive over the ensuing years, and they are better prepared to seek financing and to plan effectively for future growth. together, resource partners will play a key role in economic
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rebuilding a growth across the region. in addition to the on the ground support being provided by the resource partners, we also take an industry approach to strengthening sectors and supply chains were small businesses have been hit the hardest. no small businesses in ireland. every small business has its own buyers and vendors and thousands of small businesses across the region in turn play key roles in supply chains for manufacturers and distributors. the affected region is a vibrant center for small business participation and innovation in manufacturing and health care am a finance and numerous other sectors. it is extensive experience with regional clusters of accelerators, we know that the regional and economic growth depends upon effectively connecting small businesses with investment and growth capital, networking procurement opportunities and chain
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connections. our existing cluster and accelerator initiative's work. we plan to use we can in the coming months to support targeted and networked economic development and affected industries across the region. sba and its partners are on the ground will make sure that businesses will get the help they need in the days and months ahead. we thank you for your support, i look forward to answering any questions. >> thank you all very much. we are joined by senator risch. let me just met for the record one of the successes post-hurricane katrina. it was a more efficient application process. i would like to submit for the record the two-page disaster loan application, the one-page personal financial statement and the one-page request for tax information. the fact that this has been streamlined is very important. as i said, we still have a great deal more to do without objection.
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i will put that into the record. let me make sure that we start with the facts. because i will have a series of these hearings through this disaster. it is a long haul. this is the seventh year in recovering from hurricane katrina, and i don't want to frighten people who are listening to this. it is a long road to recovery after a catastrophic disaster. we still have neighborhoods that are struggling. but i just want to start with making sure we know what our challenges are. the record that i have, and i would like to see if it matches what you have read it is that in new york, the documents that have been submitted to show 265,000 businesses that have been destroyed. in new jersey, it is 189,000. is that generally the record that you have, mr. rivera? >> senator, yes, that is correct. okay, just for comparison, with hurricane katrina, which was no
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question a catastrophic disaster on the golf course, we only lost 18,700 businesses. so i'm going to repeat these numbers. because this is a big effort. 265,000 businesses have been lost in new york, and 189,000 in the state of new jersey. the only program that i know of in the federal government that is pacific to meet the needs coming through your agency, we are pushing very hard for the community development block grant to change into a much more flexible and better designed tool, which is one of the primary parts of the supplement, which i hope congress will state yesterday.
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given that you can understand why i was a little bit concerned to hear that in new jersey, we have 1498 applicants that have been received -- excuse me, applications that have been received, 60 have been approved. only nine of them have been dispersed today. in new york, we have 2474 applications received. we have 105 that have been approved, and 12 loans have been dispersed. the average loan, according to the documents preparing for this hearing, it was $13,000. i understand the loan amount have increased. this is real moving target. every 24 hours, these numbers move. the average business loan was
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$1116. hurricane rita was 135,000, hurricane ike was 129,000. hurricane isaac was 139. and yet we are at a lower number for others. but i want the members of this committee to know and for the administrators to know that my eyes are on the results, not the process and not how many people we have in the field. my eyes are going to be for the next year with the help of this committee. i think i have the support of both republicans and democrats on the results of getting loans quickly into the hands of businesses for. it is impossible for these communities to recover without small business leading the way. it is just not going to happen.
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homeowners can rebuild. but if there are no gas stations open, no grocery stores, no retail shopping centers, seven years after hurricane katrina, we still have neighborhoods that are looking for business opportunities. >> you're absolutely correct. we are very early into this disaster. generally we get most of our applications between week four and weekday. and we have processing goals. we are processing these applications within 10 days. this is week six. we are now starting to get an influx of disaster applications that we process within that timeframe. we are confident that we are going to be able to get these
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applications processed in a timely manner, and then once we get this approved, we will generate the document and get the initial disbursement out within the first five days of the date of the application. >> let me ask you this. were the deadlines for the application? i believe we may have to have those extended. in my experience, people are still so traumatized at this time after the disaster. they are having a hard time getting their head around the fact that they lost their home and church. they lost their business. it is difficult to make decisions, especially when they don't know what the neighbors are doing what the business next door is doing. evil may need more time. so what are the deadlines, and do you have the authority to extend them? >> the current deadline in new york was recently extended.
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we will work with emergency we can get a possible deadline. >> so you are saying that you do have the authority to extend that deadline? if you find that it is necessary? >> we do not, but fema does. we will definitely work with them. >> i'm going to ask the next panel that they believe the businesses in their community need more time to fashion their loan request. my third question, and i am sorry to turn a little bit over, explain in some detail, if you can, with the preliminary conversations have been with the secretary of hud, who is probably the best person to lead this disaster. shaun donovan, he is experienced and educated and from that region. what have the experiences in the initial conversations than about the possibility we are taking
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opportunities for. i'm talking about long-standing businesses. so that we can answer the question, are loans the only thing that is available. what is your answer to that? what are the outlines about and mary discussion? >> our initial discussions is that we are working together with them. we have had some initial discussions on the flexibility of how we can coordinate. they may be part of the supplemental. >> will there be some small express grants? have you gotten in that discussion yet?
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said spokeswoman mary? >> it is still preliminary. we are early in us and we are working as hard as we can and as fast as we can. we are still early in the process. >> okay, senator blumenthal? residents and then we returned to senator reach. >> one quick question. could you comment on on the different terms of collateral that could be available in a senator raise that point earlier. >> okay, so we followed the private sector practice. we will generally take the business, and if there is a residence available, we will pick up the residents. as part of the proposed language, we will see from my perspective how that works from lateralization. but we do follow private sector practices. >> would you then use collateral other than someone's home, would
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that be a reporter from existing policy? >> yes, it is a departure from the existing policy. >> will you undertake a policy? >> once the legislation passed, we will come back and figured out. that is the first step we can take. >> okay, thank you. >> senator risch. >> thank you, madam chairwoman. [inaudible] >> since the catastrophe, where did you say it was? okay. what kind of business was that? >> [inaudible] >> what type of insurance that they have?
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>> [inaudible] >> the availability of insurance is one of the key items of information that is obtained, either fema grants or loans. the full packet of information is that intake process. more broadly, a resource partners that help with the disaster recovery centers and business recovery centers take a holistic approach to find out where are they overall. what do they have, what are their needs, what is the plan going forward. >> i am looking at the application or the business loan application. if i was a claims processor or someone in your position looking at one of years, this thing would be incredibly good information when it comes to making decisions as to what kind
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of money should go into this. i look at item number 16 of insurance coverage to see if any, and i'm going to get to the anthony parker pretty quickly. you didn't even ask how much covered person has on this application. you have a coverage type, name of insurance company or agent, a number of insurance agent and policy, i haven't had time to study this, so maybe it shows up somewhere else here. but sir, you seem anxious to answer that question. >> senator, that's part of the application process. basically what we do is the loan officer will have that discussion with the disaster survivor and insurance agent. that communication does occur to make sure that there is no duplicate of funding that occurs. >> what about the other folks? >> i understand that you want to keep it short and concise, which is good. but the most important thing after the disaster a person
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reaches for his insurance policy. god bless the federal government, but even insurance companies generally respond to the claims. it would seem to me that if you look at the claims forms that you are required to fill out for insurance companies, you could probably take time to get your information clear. in item number 16, it talks about coverage type. if you have them check a box, such as property content, business interruption, if you check the box and how much the coverage was -- it seems that you are critical when examining these claims. i assume that you have a group that works with a claim as far
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as dealing with their insurance. >> the loan officers do deal with the actual insurance agent when they are processing application. yes, sir. >> d.phil. comfortable with the area of expertise in that regards? >> yes, sir. >> it can be difficult at times. we have pretty good success. it is a pretty transparent process for my perspective. >> are there any other questions? >> go ahead two okay. in any event, if i were you, i would take a look at the application form. i don't want to see the usual kind of form. rather i like the idea of keeping it simple. you need more information than what you have. ..